SGB hosts Pitt Eats reps, discusses Sexual Assault Awareness Month


Alyssa Carnevali | Staff Photographer

Kathryn Lavelle (left) and Steve Schurr, representatives from Pitt Eats, speak at Student Government Board’s weekly meeting in Nordy’s Place on Tuesday night.

By Donata Massimiani, Staff Writer

The Eatery may get a facelift within a year or two, according to PittEats officials.

Representatives from Pitt Dining made an appearance at Student Government Board’s Tuesday evening meeting for a Q&A, where the team addressed concerns about meal plans and shared future dining plans. The board also voted on the two resolutions presented at its March 23 public meeting, and discussed Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Steve Schurr, the operations director for PittEats, said Pitt Eats is actively working to renovate the Eatery within the next 12 to 24 months. The project is currently in its planning and design phase. He also said dining locations will be featured in the new recreation and wellness facility, which is currently under construction on O’Hara Street.

Kathryn Lavelle, the marketing director for Pitt Eats, discussed the “Pitt Eats Local” program which aims to bring locally sourced products into dining halls.

“We purchase eight cows every single week from a farm out in Johnstown called Jubilee Hilltop Ranch, and that is divided up across the campus. So True Burger is from those cows, and it is Halal protein as well,” Lavelle said. “We also partner with Fifth Season, which is a robotic greens company in Braddock, and all of our greens on campus are Fifth Season’s greens.”

An audience member asked if hours for on-campus dining locations will be lengthened during finals week to accommodate students who have to stay up later than usual while studying. Schurr said Pitt Eats has no current plans to do so, but will take this into consideration for the future.

Another audience member asked if there are any plans to change the current policy that students can’t be refunded for dining dollars left unused at the end of the spring semester.

Lavelle did not say if this is something PittEats is working to change, but noted that there are several upcoming opportunities for students to utilize their dining dollars before the end of the semester. If they remain unused, up to $10 in dining dollars can be donated to Pitt Pantry, she added.

“There’s two more farmers markets that are coming up that you can use your dining dollars at, and we also have bulk ordering,” Lavelle said. “We’ve been working with Pepsi to bring in some cases of beverages that you guys can purchase in bulk. We have a website where you can preorder these bulk items with your dining dollars and pick them up on your way out [leaving campus for the semester].”

Isabel Lam, the chair of SGB’s facilities, technology and transportation committee, asked the dining representatives how they feel they’ve done this year on providing inclusive food options for community members with dietary restrictions.

Schurr said accommodating everyone’s preferences is a priority for Pitt Eats.

“It’s been a big focus for us between the allergen stations, as well as the Halal station, our Kosher offerings at the Tower, etc.,” Schurr said. “Menuing is always something we keep in mind, and we attempt to accommodate the masses while also accommodating specific groups.”

Besides announcing new plans, the meeting also covered old business by voting on previously presented resolutions.

The board unanimously passed Resolution 2021-1 to show support for Pitt adding the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism to its code of ethics. The board also unanimously passed Resolution 2021-2, which endorses Pa. House Bill 1363 to help fight food insecurity on college campuses.

Danielle Floyd, a board member and the president-elect, announced that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and urged students to visit the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to find a list of events. She also said she attended an ACC leadership symposium over the weekend where she met with student leaders from other ACC schools.

Annalise Abraham, the Student Office of Sustainability liaison, said Pitt released its first Environmental Social Governance Factors report. She said the main takeaways from the report are the percentage of Pitt’s endowment invested in fossil fuels — at 5.8%, as of June 30, 2021 — is expected to reach 0% by 2035, and no new fossil fuel investments have been made since February 2021.

SGB President Harshitha Ramanan concluded the meeting by reminding students of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and said the University Counseling Center and Title IX office are resources always available to students who may need them. She also said Title IX reports can be reported through Pitt Concern Connection.


Reformed University Fellowship, a campus religious organization, requested $1,992 to send four members to a summer conference in Florida. The board approved the request in full.

Collision Literary Magazine requested $2,727.81 to fund publishing and shipping costs for 400 magazines. Eighty copies of the magazine will be shipped to authors outside of the Pitt community, so the board approved $2,275.49 to cover the costs for the 320 magazines going to Pitt students.

The Imagination Project, an organization that dresses as superheroes and princesses to visit sick children in the hospital and children with special needs, requested $1,684.54 to pay for new costumes, wigs, fake eyelashes and tights. Fake eyelashes and tights are individualized items, so the board approved $1,643.65 to cover the costs for the reusable parts of the costumes.

Club tennis requested $2,900.23 to fund remaining court fees for its practices from March 17 to April 14. Since the club has already practiced from March 17 to April 5, the committee considered this to be deficit spending and approved $1,200 to cover the court fees for its remaining practices.